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Monday, August 6, 2018

Are You Overweight? Top Tips for Losing Pounds & Preventing Diabetes

Crazy schedules, desk jobs and the ready availability of processed foods make it easy to put on a few extra pounds. Doing so, however, puts you at risk for diabetes and other health problems. Fortunately, there are several ways you can take control of your health and drop those extra pounds to reduce your risk of diabetes and be your healthiest self. 


Ditch the Diets
Fad diets can help you shed pounds quickly at the beginning but haven’t gotten the medical seal of approval for preventing diabetes. Many of these diets work by cutting out an entire type of food, such as carbohydrates. This can cause malnutrition in the long run by eliminating nutrients and vitamins your body needs to perform at its peak. Instead of dieting, try making healthier choices one meal at a time. This leads to a more permanent lifestyle change rather than complete diet overhaul that is difficult to maintain over the long term. 

Hit the Gym
Going to the gym is a great way to get healthy, but it can be intimidating and motivating yourself is hard. To help make it easier, consider working with a personal trainer. A trainer can tailor a fitness plan that’s right for meeting your goals without overdoing it or risking injury. For example, do you want to work on strength training? If so, they can gear a plan focused on that. Your trainer will know if you skip appointments, too, creating accountability that makes staying motivated a bit easier.

Set Realistic Goals
Getting healthy is a positive step and something you should feel good about. It’s easy to get discouraged, however, if you keep missing your goals. To help keep the good vibes going, set realistic goals for yourself. If you absolutely love ice cream, don’t cut it out of your life completely and deprive yourself. Instead, decide that you’ll have a bowl of ice cream for dessert three nights a week and choose fruit the other four days. Talk to your doctor about your weight loss goals, as well. He or she can help you lose weight safely and know what to expect when you step on the scale. If losing 50 pounds a month isn’t possible, know that so you don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal that just isn’t feasible even if you’re doing well. 

Be Kind to Yourself
Nobody is perfect. Losing weight, keeping it off, and reducing your risk of diabetes will be a lifelong journey. On most days you might do well, but—on occasion—the chocolate cake will prove irresistible or the drive-through window easier than cooking. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself. You can win the war, even if you lose a few battles along the way. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, wipe the cake crumbs off your lips, and do better tomorrow. 

Depending on your family history and other risk factors, you may not be able to prevent diabetes completely. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Use these tips to help you get to a healthy weight and you’ll be on the path to preventing or delaying a diabetes diagnosis.

Monday, July 23, 2018

5 Steps to Achieving Fabulousness

As a woman, it's nice to feel like you have your own sense of fabulousness. When you look good and are able to put your best foot forward, you'll tend to feel even better. In order to make this feeling a consistent one in your life, it's important to develop your personal style. If you've always looked in the pages of the magazines and dreamed about looking like the models in them, it's time to start making moves in that direction. You don't have to dream about who you would like to be. You can actually become that woman. However, it takes intentionality and effort. In order to get the ball rolling, start with these five tips.


1. Create a Pinterest Board.
Pinterest is an incredible app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. If you don't have either, you can use your desktop to create a Pinterest account and pin images to different boards. Create a board that is specifically for fashion. Then, go to the search engine of Pinterest and type in certain words. if you like a bohemian chic look, type those words into the search engine. Take a look at the pictures that populate the results page. Start to pin the pictures to your personal fashion board Only pin the pictures that resonate with you the most. As you start to get an idea of the looks you like the most, you can start to remember those images when it's time to shop. It'll also give you clarity if you ever decide to hire a personal stylist.

2. Declutter your closet.
Too often, many women struggle with figuring out what they like to wear on a daily basis because they don't know what's in their closet. If you find that you've held on to certain items with the hopes of losing weight and you haven't lost the weight, it's time to get rid of those pieces. Only hold on to the items you actually wear. It's a good idea to make this a practice that you repeat after every single season.

3. Build a solid wardrobe.
Once you've decluttered and are clear on what you have in your closet, now is the opportunity for you to build a solid wardrobe. Make sure that your wardrobe has essential items that most women need. Items like a great pair of denim jeans, a white button-up blouse and a trench coat are wise items to purchase. A simple and sleek black dress, a great pair of black pumps and a nude-colored pair of flats are additional pieces you want to include in your wardrobe. The reason why you want these items in your closet is that they are versatile, always in style and will help you when you're ready to build a look for the day. While you might be tempted to fill up your closet with the trendiest pieces of the current season, avoid this temptation. Don't make this mistake because trendy items always go out of style. You don't want to have a closet filled with out-of-season pieces. If you make this mistake, you'll really struggle to find something to wear in the next season. Sprinkle your wardrobe with trendy pieces. That way, you'll be able to maintain a fresh look without sacrificing your wardrobe in the long run.

4. Get items tailored.
A great secret to always looking polished involves tailoring. Find a local tailor and have them work on different items that you purchase. From jeans to dresses, a tailor can transform a garment and make it fit you perfectly.

5. Utilize accessories.
Don’t underestimate the power of accessories. Purchase a few necklaces, watches and bangles. You can mix and match from day to day. It's also nice to include other accessories like hair extensions. If you'd like to try a new hairstyle, try the best hair extensions at Eden Hair and keep your friends and co-workers guessing on a regular basis.



Monday, July 9, 2018

Giving for Good: Make an Impact in Your Community

Make an impact in your community

Inspiration to give back to your community can come from any number of places, from a personal desire to make a difference to fulfilling a graduation requirement for community service hours. No matter the reason or the origin, chances are strong that you can make an impact.

Giving back may be as simple as writing a check to an organization that works to further a mission you care deeply about. Or it may mean lending a hand to put on a fundraising event in your community. Perhaps you have a skill or talent you can share with others in the name of a good cause.

If you’re committed to contributing to your community in a meaningful way, consider one of these ideas to improve the lives of those around you:

Spend Time with the Elderly
Seniors often hold wisdom, knowledge and experience that younger generations have yet to accumulate. Yet, as they age, a community’s oldest residents are often left alone. These days it’s less common for family members to live near one another, so “adopting” an elderly resident down the street or at the local senior housing center is a way to help monitor his or her well-being and ensure personal ties to the community are maintained. Not only can this provide a valuable service for an elderly person and his or her family, it may bring you great personal satisfaction as you learn about the community’s history through the eyes of someone who saw it evolve firsthand.

Donate to Nonprofits
If you’re concerned your budget doesn’t stretch far enough to make a meaningful cash contribution, there are plenty of other ways you can donate to nonprofit organizations in your community. Volunteer hours or even gently used items like office furniture or supplies are often in high demand. You can even donate by helping your favorite nonprofit uncover new funding opportunities. For example, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, provides farmers an opportunity to help a nonprofit of their choice. Eligible farmers can enroll in the program for a chance to direct a donation to a local eligible nonprofit organization. Since 2010, the program has shown a commitment to strengthening farming communities by awarding more than $29 million to nonprofits, supporting food banks, ag youth organizations, supplying essentials for the needy and acquiring life-saving emergency response equipment.


Be a Mentor
Much as you can gain valuable wisdom from elderly residents, you also likely have your own knowledge that can benefit others in your community. Consider the areas where you excel and explore how your community can benefit. You might put your athletic talents to use coaching a youth sports team, teach scouts a skill for advancement or lend your experience as a human resources professional to an organization that helps disadvantaged individuals improve their employment opportunities. If you’re good with numbers, maybe volunteering as a financial advisor to a local nonprofit board is worth considering.

Help Create Future Leaders
If the future vitality and well-being of your community is a priority, your giving may involve creating opportunities for future generations. Programs like America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, encourage rural youth to become the next generation of ag leaders by awarding scholarships to support their pursuit of higher education in ag-related fields of study. The scholarships are administered by the National FFA Organization, but students do not have to be FFA members to apply. Since 2014, the program has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships for students looking to study ag-related fields after high school. 


Plant Flower Beds
Making a community better isn’t always about dollars and cents. Simply making your hometown a more enjoyable place to be is a reward you can enjoy along with your neighbors. Special beautification projects such as creating and maintaining flower beds in public spaces can help create a more welcoming, friendly environment. Other ideas include community cleanup initiatives and organizing groups to help with yardwork for those who are physically unable.

Get Involved in Schools
Nearly every school district can benefit from added resources to support youth education. You may be able to help your school secure funding for a special initiative through a program such as America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, which allows farmers to nominate local public school districts to compete for merit-based STEM grants. Nominated schools have the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund projects that enhance science, technology, engineering and math education in their districts. Since 2011, more than $16 million has been awarded to over 900 rural school districts.

Farmers can find more ways to give back to their communities along with program information and official rules at AmericasFarmers.com.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How to Build the Perfect Playlist

How to Build the Perfect Playlist

Music can set the mood, no matter the occasion. Whether you’re playing jazz classics to give your dinner party a sophisticated ambience or blasting the latest dance-pop tracks for motivation on the treadmill, music is able to provide the soundtrack to different aspects of peoples’ lives.

These days, playlists are one of the most convenient ways to organize music, and there’s no limit to the number of playlists you can create. It can also be surprisingly simple to make the perfect playlist to match your music needs. These tips can help you on your way:

Tailor the Playlist to Your Audience
Crafting your playlist based on who you’re playing it for, like guests at a house party or family barbecue, can help you select the proper vibe, tempo, length and theme. The goal should always be to include songs the majority of your guests will enjoy. Just keep in mind that if you’re relying on a single playlist for an occasion, you’ll want to ensure that it’s long enough to last until the end of the party. A good rule of thumb is at least 30-40 tracks.

Make It Personal
Because different genres and styles of music are available in abundance, your songs and playlists can reflect who you are and the way you feel. A music streaming service like Spotify allows listeners to build personal playlists as well as listen to expert-curated playlists on-demand using its free mobile app.

When taking advantage of those custom features, be sure to clearly identify your lists with ultra-personal names. For example, instead of naming a list “Summer 2018,” go for something like “Favorite Poolside Beats 2018.” If you need help, the service can also help populate the playlist to at least 15 songs by suggesting tracks based on your playlist title and music tastes. Create your own personalized playlist and find more information at Spotify.com.

Mix It Up
Keep people interested with a wide variety of slow and fast, new and classic, and various musical styles. Don’t be afraid to combine genres or decades. This ensures you strike chords among listeners of various ages and backgrounds. When in doubt, add classic crowd-pleasers and chart-topping hits of today.

Update Often
If you’re creating a playlist that you plan to keep going back to, like a workout playlist, keep in mind you can update it whenever you like to keep it fresh. Switching out songs from time to time can make the listening experience more enjoyable.

Collaborate with Others
Allowing friends or guests to have access to your playlist and make their own additions ensures that everyone’s music tastes are represented. Another plus: it’s a fun way to discover hot new tracks and artists your friends and family are listening to.

Find Inspiration
If you’re short on time or just looking for some new ideas, check out pre-existing playlists that are already curated for your occasion. For example, on Spotify you can find options like “Afternoon Acoustic” for relaxing or “Songs to Sing in the Car” for a long road trip to the beach with friends.

Music is both universal and personal, so let your playlists tell a story about you. If you’ll use the list for entertaining, sprinkle in some extra flavor with tracks that appeal to the broader group or specific guests, and just like that, you have a winning playlist for your next party.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

How to Organize Your Friends Baby Shower

If you have a friend who is pregnant, then one of the highlights before the birth for them and their friends will be the baby shower. It is a great time for you all to get together and have a good time while pampering the mum-to-be and eating cake. If the job of organizing the baby shower has fallen upon you, then here are a few tips to help you make it a success.

How to Organize Your Friends Baby Shower

Timing is Everything

Before you start the planning, you need to think about the best time to hold the baby shower. Ideally, they need to be held 6-8 weeks before the baby is due, however, if the mother is having complications or other problems, you can bring it forward instead. You don’t want to leave it too late, or you run the risk of holding the baby shower in the delivery room which won’t be ideal. The length of the event should be between 2-4 hours, any shorter than that and it can feel rushed and not personal enough. Four hours is the maximum time you should aim for, as any longer will be taxing on the mother and drag it out for the guests. 

Choose a Theme

Part of the baby shower event is choosing a fun theme for the party. Although the theme is technically the baby, it is nice to have another theme for the party, one that everyone will remember. Try to think of something that the mother-to-be likes and base the party around that. For example, if they like Disney, then perhaps a Mickey Mouse theme will be a nice touch. If you already know the sex of the baby, then you can have a girl or boy theme. 

The Venue

Although most people have baby showers at the mother’s home, that doesn’t have to be the case. If the weather is nice, there is no reason you can’t have it in the garden or even on the beach. The only thing to remember is whether everyone can get to the venue, including the mother. If they are on bed rest or can’t move around too much, then you should keep it close to home. 

Gifts

One of the best parts of a baby shower for the mother is the gifts she will get. These should all be centered around the baby or the mother and can also be tied into the theme. It is probably a good idea to ask people to say what gifts they will be bringing; this prevents two people bringing the same baby activity table to the party. You can arrange for the gifts to be presented at the same time during the baby shower, or everyone can give them as they arrive. It is often a good idea for the mother-to-be to open them later in the party.

For the mum-to-be and her friends, a baby shower is a perfect way to celebrate the imminent arrival of the new baby.

Monday, June 11, 2018

5 Tips for Healthy Summer Hydration

5 Tips for Healthy Summer Hydration

Summer provides countless opportunities to get outside for hiking, biking and running around with friends and family. However, having fun in the sun also requires proper hydration.

While staying hydrated may seem easy, healthy hydration is not always a given. For example, the water coming out of your faucet can travel through miles of aging pipes before it reaches your home, potentially picking up unwanted contaminants such as lead, pesticides and industrial pollutants along the way.

These tips can assist in achieving healthy hydration throughout the summer months:

Drink Plenty of Water. It may seem simple, but consuming an appropriate amount of water can be especially important when temperatures reach sweltering levels. Since the human body is 60 percent water, it’s a vital step for your health to make sure you’re getting enough of it, which is why Healthline recommends 6-8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water per day.

Make Sure It’s Pure. In addition to drinking the right amount of water, it’s also important to drink the right kind of water. Consider installing an in-home filtered water solution like the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration system. It’s certified to reduce more than 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead – more than any other brand, according to NSF. Filtered water can be used to refill water bottles and ice cube trays, prepare infant formula, cook and make beverages like coffee, tea and even smoothies.

“Staying hydrated is especially important during the hot, summer months,” said Deb Mudway, PUR marketing vice president. “Our lead-reducing faucet filtration systems make it easy to enjoy cleaner, better-tasting water at home or on-the-go.”

Take It To-Go. Keeping a bottle of water with you when you’re out and about is a convenient way to stay hydrated. Rather than disposable plastic water bottles, consider using a refillable, BPA-free bottle, which is a more environmentally friendly choice and typically more affordable.

Add a Little Flavor. Quench your thirst and add some refreshing flavor and nutrients to your water by infusing it with strawberries, kiwi, orange, mint or melon slices.

Eat Water-Rich Foods. An overlooked option for maintaining proper hydration is eating fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumbers and celery that naturally contain water. For the freshest results, wash your fruits and vegetables with filtered water prior to eating them.

Find more ways to ensure cleaner water consumption for proper summer hydration at PUR.com.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Healthy Summer Hair Care


While the sun, pool days and warmer temperatures are often a welcome change come summer, they can be brutal on your hair. It’s important to give your locks some extra love this season.

“The sun, sweat and chlorine can fade color fast. Make sure you have the right products to protect your hair,” said Heather Brodzin, director of salon and spa with Beauty Brands. “Whether it’s styling aids, hair protectants, a smoother or moisturizer, make sure you consider your scalp and hair type for a tailored solution. Also don’t forget to schedule a trim with your stylist every 6-8 weeks to keep split ends at bay, or a deep conditioning treatment that gives your hair that extra boost of protection and moisture it needs. A little preparation and regular salon visits can help keep you looking and feeling your best all summer long.”

Find these products and more at BeautyBrands.com/SummerHair, or stop by your local store for hair-styling, inspiration and expert advice to ensure your summer is full of great hair days.

Get Relief from the Heat

Guard your hair against styling tools as well as summer’s ultraviolet rays and humidity with the 24-hour protection offered by a weightless spray like Living Proof Restore Instant Protection Living Proof Restore Instant Protection. Mist it on before styling and re-apply as needed, or use it as a finishing aid for shine and smoothing.

Extend Your Summer Style

Spend more time outside enjoying the summer sun and less time cooped up indoors styling your hair with dry shampoo like TIGI Bed Head Oh Bee Hive! Matte Dry Shampoo, which creates volume and texture without a lot of work.

Safeguard Your Color

Don’t let the summer sun steal your color. Captivating care can be a breeze with a gentle shampoo like Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner, which uses amino-ions to build a barrier fortifying color and vibrance.

Shut Down Frizz

Keep your hair conditioned, hydrated and free of frizz this summer with a styling aid such as Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream. The lightweight formula moisturizes while it tames and helps create soft, natural summer styles.

Lock in Moisture

Unlike typical conditioners that rest on the surface of the hair, hair masks work their way into the hair cuticles to repair damage from the inside out. Regular application of a hair mask like Soulfood Nourishing Mask can add shine, increase manageability and provide essential nourishment to seal summer split ends.

Strengthen and Beautify

With 21 benefits inside one bottle, including shinier hair, shorter blow-drying time, frizz reduction and enduring hair color, an option like Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier repairs damaged hair and shields it against heat and environmental damage by sealing hair cuticles.